A 14-Year-Old boy who was fed up with the regimented life in Asaram Bapu’s gurukul in Chhindwara murdered the two boys so that the school would be closed down, the police claimed on Sunday.
The Class IX student had joined the ashram only recently, but found it difficult to adjust to gurukul life, which demands getting up early and following a strict routine of studies, exercise and meditation. In fact, the killer was the one who reported Vedant’s death to the authorities.
DIG (Chhindwara) K T Vaiphei told The Indian Express that the teenager had confessed to killing four-and-a-half-year-old Ramkrishna Yadav and five-year-old Vedant Manmode, whose bodies were found in adjacent bathrooms within a span of 48 hours.
“The motive is very complicated,” the DIG said, ruling out that the boy was mentally unstable. “The boy appears very scared of his father,” he said, adding that the police will formally press for a murder charge on Monday. The boy’s parents own as much as 300 acres of land in a village 40 km from Chhindwara, where the ashram is located.
IG (Jabalpur Range) K R Krishna said bite marks found on Vedant’s left shoulder matched the killer’s teeth. The police screened several students and put Rituraj to sustained interrogation once the teeth marks matched. “Rituraj was unhappy and wanted to leave the ashram. He had heard about the deaths in the Ahmedabad gurukul and thought he would be expelled after committing the crime and would get to return home,” he said
There were contradictions in the boy’s version when he was asked to narrate the sequence of events before and after Vedant’s body was found. He was always questioned either in the presence of his parents or relatives. The police are now trying to corroborate the boy’s confession with the evidence they found from the bathrooms. They claimed the boy lured his victims to the bathrooms by offering them chocolates. His cousin and two other boys are eyewitnesses, they added.
The DIG said the parents have questioned the police theory and want a CBI inquiry. Parents of both victims had given the ashram a clean chit, saying they believed the authorities who maintained that the deaths were accidental.
Meanwhile, the postmortem report cited “asphyxiation due to drowning” as Vedant’s cause of death. Ramkrishna’s report had said, “asphyxiation due to possible drowning”. A team of four experts which conducted the second postmortem saw a videography of Ramkrishna’s autopsy as well.
The ashram will remain closed for at least a week as most parents have taken their wards home.
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